Updated at 8:45 p.m. Tuesday
Nearly a dozen federal, state and local police departments chased and apprehended three people suspected of trying to smuggle large bales of marijuana into Palos Verdes Estates Tuesday evening, authorities said.
A 25-foot boat with "a large amount" of marijuana was intercepted on rocks off Malaga Cove in Palos Verdes Estates about 5 p.m., according to Sgt. Steve Eberhard with the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department.
Shortly before that, Eberhard said the police department received a call from the Coast Guard saying they were pursuing a boat headed towards flat rock and Malaga Cove. When the suspects landed on shore, police immediately arrested the men who were described by Eberhard as "wet."
"Obviously, the men had been in the water," Eberhard said.
Three suspects were arrested by police without incident and were then turned over to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Eberhard said.
A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station San Diego and Customs & Border Protection aircraft originally tracked the boat moving at high speed going north, according to the Coast Guard. A Coast Guard Cutter and a 45-foot Response Boat from Coast Guard Station Los Angeles were also launched to pursue the boat.
Redondo Beach police and units from Redondo Baywatch were also involved in the interdiction effort.
Eberhard said that while the boat was the third smuggler boat to land in Palos Verdes Estates, it is the first boat containing drugs.
The Palos Verdes Peninsula, however, is no stranger to boats attempting to smuggle contraband and even humans into California.
In November 2011, 13 people were arrested after a boat carrying 4,000 pounds of marijuana was intercepted at Abalone Cove. Multiple "panga" boats carrying human cargo and drugs have also washed ashore along the peninsula.
According to authorities, Palos Verdes is a popular landing spot for smugglers as the steep cliffs and rocky shoreline offer relative seclusion for illicit activity.
“They pull up, there’s a cliffy area, they’re using that as cover,” Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations in L.A. told Patch in March 2012.
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—City News Service contributed to this report.